12 Plug-in Cars You Can Drive by 2011

Whether you’re itching to sign up for an electric vehicle field trial, hoping to buy one of the earliest plug-in models, or just want a heads up on what models you might see hitting showrooms and U.S. roads in the next couple years, here’s a dozen models to have on your list. Some of them will be available only in select markets or for a handful of fleets initially, but if all goes well (a big if), then this could mark the first trickle before a flood of plug-in models during the next decade.

What When Where How Much
BMW Concept ActiveE
- BEV
- 4 seats
Limited leasing in 2011 U.S., EU TBA
BMW Mini-E
- BEV
– 2 seats
Field trials underway; expanding 2010 Germany, U.S., UK, China $850/month lease
BYD e6
- BEV
- 5 seats
Late 2010 Select U.S. markets initially, likely starting with Southern California, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Boston. Around $40,000
Coda Sedan
- BEV
– 5 seats
Fall 2010 California initially, later expanding across U.S. $45,000
Fisker Karma
- PHEV
– 4 seats
September 2010 U.S., Canada, EU $87,900
Ford Focus
- BEV
– 5 seats
Fleet trials underway; launch late 2011 North America, then EU TBA
GM Chevy Volt
- EREV
– 5 seats)
November 2010 Select U.S. cities initially including San Francisco, CA, Washington, D.C., Around $40,000
Nissan LEAF
- BEV
– 5 seats
Early reservations through May 15, 2010. Primary lead markets include Tennessee, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona. $32,780, or $349/month lease with $1,999 down payment
Smart Fortwo ED
- BEV
– 2 seats
Field trials underway; U.S. trials starting second half of 2010; 2012 series production. Select customers in Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, U.S., Canada TBA. Gas version starts at $11,990
Think City
- BEV
– 2 seats
Already available in EU; U.S. launch planned for 2010 Select U.S. cities initially, starting with New York City (LA, San Francisco, Chicago rank high on list of potential lead markets). About $28,690, plus $183/month for battery leasing if U.S. pricing is similar to pricing for Norway market
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
- PHEV
– 5 seats
Limited leasing underway Select fleets in Japan, EU and across the U.S., including universities, companies and governments in California, Colorado and Oregon. TBA. About $47,800 for demo fleet customers in Japan. 2010 Prius (hybrid, no plug) starts at $22,800
Ford Transit Connect
- BEV
– Light commercial van
Late 2010 North America, then EU TBA. Gas version starts under $22,000

BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle; PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle; EREV = Extended Range Electric Vehicle

Image courtesy of felixkramer’s photostream

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